Ontario Lantern & Lamp Co.

The Ontario Lantern & Lamp Co. (OL&L) was created 1904, when Walter Grose compelled Ernest Schultz to sell his shares of the Ontario Lantern Co. which made Walter the primary owner. OL&L wasn’t off to a good start when just a few months after the formation of the business, a devastating fire nearly destroyed the building. It took a few months but thankfully the factory was back up and running, instead of being shut down.

OL&L was the second largest lantern producer in Canada, under E.T. Wright & Co. Their factory was located on Cannon Street, in Hamilton, Ontario, just a few blocks away from the E.T. Wright factory. Along with lanterns they made electric lights in conjunction with the Canadian Tungsten Light Co. and lamp burners. Their cold blast line was called “The Banner Cold Blast” and hot blasts were called “Climax Safety”. In 1913, OL&L added a new line of lantern, named the “Trulite”, it was a short globe cold blast lantern. This was in keeping with the new design released by other manufacturers in 1913.  Along with tubular lanterns, OL&L made various lines of Skaters lanterns, candle lanterns and table lamps. A few notable lines were the Mascot candle lantern, and Little Bob’s skater lantern.

The Banner Cold Blast

The main product of the Ontario Lantern & Lamp Co. for many years was the Banner, they inhereted the name from the earlier iteration of the company, and it remained their mainstay until 1921. The Banner was the second most sold lantern in Canada, OL&L was never ever to beat their main competitor E.T. Wright & Co.

OL&L, like most lantern makers, always felt they could improve on their design, often going though yearly full redesigns of the Banner. Today this has led to fun collecting as often myself and other collectors will find a Banner that is entirely different than what we’re used too. They also made large fount Banner versions, which they named ‘The Harvester’. By around 1913, OL&L had basically perfected their design, and it did not change until OL&L moved away from lanterns.


The Trulite Lantern

The Trulite came to be in 1913, with the advent of the ‘short globe’ lantern. Pretty much all lantern makers came out with the short globe around the same time, the proposed improvements was the globe was easier to clean, and since the glass was much shorter, it also made cracking less likely. The short globe lantern was an instant success. OL&L’s first Trulite was a ‘top-lift’, which meant the chimney was lifted from the top of the lantern, and not from the bottom, which was  the conventional style. This did not last long for them however, and they soon changed it to be a bottom lift.

The Trulite mirrored the design of the Banner Cold Blasts, except for the shorter look. The Trulite soon became just as popular, if not more popular than the Banner, possibly due to the large amount of advertising OL&L did. One of the things OL&L excelled at was their advertising campaigns.


Ontario Lantern & Lamp’s Lantern End

OL&L continued being the second largest lantern producer until 1921. As lantern sales began to fall due to the rising popularity of pressure lanterns and more widely available electricity. OL&L decided to sell their rights and tooling of the Banner and Climax lanterns to E.T. Wright. This ended Ontario Lantern & Lamp’s 30 years of lantern production (including the Ontario Lantern Co.). This also meant E.T. Wright had bought out their second largest competitor.  OL&L continued to make the Little Bob’s skater lanterns as well as their lines of table and wall lamps. I’m not sure yet when OL&L went out of business or what happened when they did.